Brian Michael Bendis has announced he is leaving the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book title, but Marvel already has a new creative team in place to succeed him. Bendis, who also writes Spider-Man, Jessica Jones, Infamous Iron Man and Invincible Iron Man, has written the series since February 2013.
"It was a couple of things," Bendis explained to ComicBook of his decision to leave the title. "Number one, I had an end story that I've been building to and it's time to unleash it. Number two, there were other projects offered to me that I was like, 'Oh, I do want to do that!' and something has to go. Even I have a bandwidth cap, even though no one in Marvel thinks that I do."
Though he's leaving, Bendis is taking the opportunity to work with the incoming creative team (whose names Bendis won't reveal, but who he says he knows "very well") and set up their run in his finale.
"It was like, 'Well, I could leave Guardians, and I could leave Guardians the month the movie comes out or the month before, giving the new creative team the opportunity to really blow the roof off the place,' and that's cool," Bendis explained. "The new creative team is one that I like. I want to tee them up in a good way, but at the same time, I really want to land my ending in a big way."
As for Bendis's new project, he kept mum on what it will be, but promised fans they "won't have to wait long" to find out.
The exact issue Bendis will leave on has not been announced. The latest solicited issue is Guardians of the Galaxy #18, on shelves March 15. Marvel will also offer a "Top Secret" Guardians of the Galaxy story for Free Comic Book Day on May 6, 2017 - the day after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is due out in theaters.